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Nervous Republicans Allege Fraud In Florida Vote Counting

November 19, 2000

The high stakes political game being played out in Florida now sees the Republican Party alleging fraud and malpractice in the hand recounting in three counties.

Overnight, the lead held by George W. Bush expanded to 930 after the counting of absentee ballots was completed. Bush has 2,911,872 votes, whilst Vice-President Al Gore has 2,910, 942.

There is a suggestion in American reporting of the count this morning that the Republicans did not do as well as they had hoped from the absentee votes.

The GOP (Grand Old Party) is alleging a range of electoral irregularities in the counting, including an amazing claim that in one counting centre elderly officials are using torches to provide enough light to examine punched holes in ballot papers.

Republican officials are alleging commingled ballots, ballots used as fans, dropped ballots, stepped-on ballots, counters roaming rooms fruitlessly in search of instructions, multiple touching, overworked and burned-out elderly counters, and the taping of chads over the spot for a Bush vote. Chads are the bits of paper that drop out of the ballot paper when it is hole-punched by the voter.

The allegations indicate that the Bush camp is becoming increasingly nervous about the result of the recounts.

In Seminole County, it is reported that Republican Party campaign workers have been allowed to add voter registration details to absentee ballots after they were signed and submitted. The county elections official apparently allowed Republican campaign workers to sit in her office for 10 days amending absentee forms.

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